Nisshin Brings Back Plant-Based Unagi Eel Dish; Limited Quantity of ‘Mystery Eel’ to Go on Sale Online

Courtesy of Nissin Food Products Co.
A plant-based kabayaki grilled eel over rice

Nissin Food Products Co. will sell a limited quantity online of a plant-based food that re-creates the texture, appearance and flavor of grilled eel, the maker announced Monday.

Called “nazo unagi,” or literally mystery eel, 5000 kabayaki grilled eel sets will go on sale from noon Thursday for ¥1,500 excluding tax.

To successfully replicate the soft and fluffy texture of real fatty kabayaki meat, the batter made mainly from soy protein granules is divided into three layers: the white meat, the middle and the skin layers. The layers of the batter are stuffed into a special mold to be steamed to look like real kabayaki. A set comes with the sauce and sansho Japanese pepper.

Last summer, Nisshin released 1,000 sets of nazo unagi online which sold out in a minute. This year, the company will sell a limited quantity at some stores in the Kanto region from July 20.

Nisshin will also begin selling Monday “Nazo unagi don,” an instant cup rice of grilled eel from its “Cup Meshi” series where rice, instead of noodles, can be made by pouring in hot water. The new product containing nazo unagi sells for ¥369 in the Kanto, Chubu and Kinki regions as well as in Yamanashi, Nagano and Niigata prefectures.